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Fonterra Response To Westland Vote Outcome

16 January 2002

Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd says it respects the decision by shareholders of Westland Milk Products not to accept Fonterra’s merger offer.

Fonterra’s Chief Financial Officer, Graham Stuart, who was Project Director for the merger process, said: “We believed strongly that we had an obligation on deregulation of the New Zealand Dairy Board to give all New Zealand dairy farmers the opportunity to participate in the new company and to remain part of an integrated industry. We have now fulfilled that obligation. Westland has today chosen to decline our offer and go it alone, and we respect that decision.”

Mr Stuart said Fonterra had also extended to Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd a merger offer in February 2001. This offer was also declined at that time.

“Tatua indicated to us early last year that they also wished to be independant. We acknowledged that this was their choice and made no further overtures to merge,” Mr Stuart said.

Ends

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17 January 2002

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